Queensland power suppliers are giving Sydney power to prevent potential citywide outages this afternoon.
How has it come to this?
This morning, we heard a potential citywide blackout was expected later today as a result of the overuse of energy. Later, the Courier Mail reported that Queensland will send about 1000 megawatts to NSW from the grid.
If it reaches 38 degrees, today could be NSW’s hottest February day on record. Sydney’s Observatory Hill has recorded the city's 10th day above 35 degrees this summer, beating the nine-day record set between 1895 and 1896. With predictions of 39 degrees tomorrow, there's little doubt it will reach the 11th hottest day.
Needless to say, Sydney is reaching for the air con remote at a rapid rate. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is predicting electricity demand to reach the highest ever in the state today. This peak is expected to be reached at 4.30 this afternoon, and is expected to last for about two hours.
With the balance between supply and demand destabilised, Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin has released a statement, saying: “The Government is taking additional steps to reduce peak demand, including in Government operations. If required, the networks will consider load shedding to manage peak demand.”
Here’s what that means: load shedding occurs when power companies are instructed to turn off consumers’ supplies to rebalance the power system and protect the electricity network from long-term damage. This occurred in South Australia on Wednesday evening, when power was cut to 40,000 consumers for about half an hour.
Harwin recommends turning your air con to 26 degrees (because seriously, you don't need it to feel like winter), and to "adjust fridge temperatures, switch off unused electrical appliances and turn off lights where it’s safe to do so.”
So switch off those plug sockets and grab yourself an icy pole. We've all got to do our sweaty bit.